Bobby Jindal’s Budget Savings Plan? Spend $4 Million Trying To Find Savings

bobby-jindal-e1384001327719It’s been a little while since Bobby “Stop Being The Stupid Party” Jindal made his assertion that President Obama could “learn from Louisiana,” and I was wondering how the governor of my state could follow up on that ridiculous statement. Well, guess what? Piyush “Bobby” Jindal hasn’t disappointed, and this latest move even has members of his own party doing the figurative Picard facepalm. The Advocate, based out of Baton Rouge, is now reporting that Gov. Jindal is planning to spend $4 million to bring in a private consultant to find savings opportunities in the state’s budget.

“The Jindal administration announced Friday that a private consultant will receive $4 million to identify cost savings across state government. Tapped for the job was Alvarez and Marsal, the same New York-based global management firm that assessed the state’s tax structure for the governor’s failed tax overhaul last year.” – Source

Yes, the same firm that helped put together a failed proposal to eliminate the state income tax in favor of higher sales taxes which was met by opposition even from members of his own party – and of course, he’s going to hire them once again. It also doesn’t seem like any surprise that they’re contributors to primarily GOP candidates and causes, according to I’m no global management financial consultant with a Sigma Six black belt and a penthouse in Manhattan, but I think I could figure out how to close the projected $963 million dollar budget deficit and even bring in some additional revenue. Actually, I’ll bet I could even turn it into a revenue surplus to start paying down the state debt. You know, fiscal conservatism and all that jazz.

First off, I’m going to borrow a few pages out of his original failed budget plan – the couple of ideas which actually made sense.

1. Raise the tax on tobacco products by $1.05 and reduce the amount of tax exemptions handed out to oil and gas companies. In his own plan, this would bring in nearly $660 million in revenue. Let’s face it, the major energy companies may be creating jobs here, but they’re taking the majority of profits back to their Houston headquarters. If you’ve ever experienced the joy of crossing the line into Texas on I-10 onto a smooth road after having your fillings rattled out in Louisiana, you’d understand that Texas has the money to take care of the roads because those companies are paying taxes in Texas and not Louisiana.

2. Legalize marijuana. I know this sounds crazy but Louisiana already has a “laissez bon temps rouler” (Let the good times roll) attitude towards alcohol sales and public consumption, especially in the southern portion of the state. If you thought tourism was a money-maker for New Orleans now, can you imagine what legalized and taxed marijuana would do to the state coffers? They’d be overflowing like the tray on a casino machine that just hit the jackpot. Plus we already have the world’s highest incarceration rate – a lot of it for non-violent drug offenses. I’m sure we could pull in at least $100 million off the taxes alone and close the remaining gap on the savings by not jailing a disproportionate number of young black men for something as minor as selling a bag of weed.

3. Take the Medicaid expansion money already. Not only do we have the world’s highest incarceration rate but we also have some of the unhealthiest people in the nation. I’m pretty sure that’s not something to brag about.

And there you go, Governor Jindal. Guess what? It didn’t take an out-of-state consulting firm with a $4 million price tag to figure that out.

P.S. If you have any ideas on how you can save the state of Louisiana money, feel free to hop on Twitter and let Gov. Jindal know with the hashtag #FreeIdeasForBobby


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